Sunday, July 25, 2010

Comic Strips - 1

      Today’s blog takes a look at some of the popular comic strips of the 1930s, 1940s and later. If you are a member of the post-youth set, see how many you can remember. If you belong to the younger set, perhaps you will enjoy seeing what your parents and grandparents thought was funny. Please keep in mind that those who remember these strips were struggling through the great depression. We took our humor where we could find it.

       Alley Oop (1932 - ) was a stone age character, who along with his Friend, Foozy, and his girl friend, Ooola, rode around on his pet dinosaur, Dinny. In 1939 they were brought into the 20th century by virtue of a time machine invented by Dr. Wonmug. As to be expected, complications followed.

      Bringing Up Father (1913 – 2000), the official name of this strip, was commonly called Jiggs and Maggie after the two main characters. They were immigrants from Ireland; Jiggs had won the Irish Sweepstakes, so they were newly rich. Maggie and Nora, their daughter, worked hard at breaking into society, while Jiggs, a former working man, preferred hanging out at Dinty Moore’s saloon and eating corned beef and cabbage. Naturally, the three had some problems, with Maggie having the last word because of her willingness to use a rolling pin on Jiggs’ head.

      Dick Tracy (1931 - ) was a fast-acting, hard-hitting, intelligent police detective who fought crime masters such as Pruneface, the Nazi spy, Flattop Jones, and other equally obnoxious characters. Dick was many years ahead of his time on technology; he started using his 2way Wrist Radio in 1946. Other technological advances were financed by his rich industrialist friend, Diet Smith. Dick eventually married his sweetheart, Tess Trueheart.

      Joe Palooka (1930 – 1984) was a heavyweight boxing champion. Joe exemplified the upright sports champion, a type which seems to be in short supply in the 21st century. Joe was quiet and unassuming, but thanks to his manager, Knobby Walsh, his girl friend, Ann Howe, and Little Max, a mute orphan who hung around, the strip was voted one of the top five in 1948.

      The Katzenjammer Kids(1897 - ) Hans and Fritz, were two very mischievous kids who kept getting into trouble with Mama, der Captain (a shipwrecked sailor), Kink, a stereotypical African-American, and various and sundry school authorities. They survived two World Wars, the Great Depression, Viet Nam and George Bush, and the comic is still in syndication today, which, after 113 years, makes it the world’s longest running comic strip.

      Lil Abner (1934 – 1977) lived with his Mammy and Pappy Yokum (a combination of yokel and hokum) in a log cabin in Dogpatch. Even after his marriage to voluptuous Daisy Mae in 1952, perpetually 19-year-old Abner remained a naive, gullible hillbilly. One recurring feature of the strip was the annual Sadie Hawkins Day race, in which women chased after eligible bachelors. Today it has been transformed into a dance to which the women invite the men.

      I hope my little review brought back some pleasant memories. If you have a favorite comic strip you would like me to review, please leave a comment.
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      The term "construct" is usually used as a verb, although Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary also defines it as a noun, i.e. (1) something constructed or (2) an image, idea or theory, especially a complex one formed from a number of simpler elements.
      Constructs – The Spirit Runs Through It

      The book or a free download is available in paperback or on Kindle.

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